The Underground Experience Presents “The Power Of Black Music Sessions” Series # 1
The first broadcast is a special re-edited interview with The Legendary R&B, Soul & Dance Group
This show is very special because of who they are and represent. Also on this day two years ago,
I heard my Father had passed but I still managed to do this interview minutes later………
Double Exposure (James Williams, Joseph Harris, Charles Whittington and Leonard ‘Butch’ Davis) was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. in 1966, then called Unite Image.
Salsoul Records hired Philadelphia songwriter/producer/arranger/musician, Norman Harris to develop an album. The song “Ten Percent” released in 1976 and was a major club success as was the album of the same name.
THE DOUBLE EXPOSURE STORY
On December 11, 1975, at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Double Exposurebegan recording what would become one of the most successful albums to come out of the Philly music empire. This empire already contained artist such as The O’JAYS, Billy Paul, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Teddy Pendergrass, The Spinners, Blue Magic, The Delphonics, The Trammps, Stylistics and the list goes on and on.
Double Exposure’s first album entitled, Ten Percent with the title cut having tremendous success first as a disco hit, then reaching the “R&B” charts and also having surprising success on the “POP” charts. The second single from that album My Love is Free was also a smash on all three charts putting Double Exposure over the top. The results, two gold singles, one gold album. This was their first taste of real success in the recording business but definitely not their first experience.
They have been singing together since Jr. High School. After High School and military service, they reunited and began their quest toward a life- long dream of becoming successful entertainers and recording artist. It was not easy but they believed in their God given talents and they just simply loved to sing.
Upon recommendation of some DJ’s, United Image was introduced to recording executive Lebaron Taylor who signed them to Stax Records. They released a single Loves Creeping Up On Me and at least half an album was completed in Philadelphia with Bunny Sigler co-producing, but the project was shelved, apparently due to internal problems at Stax. Bunny Sigler produced three tracks Stick Like Glue, Lavada, Keep A Light Burning In The Window and Norman Harris and Allan Felder producedI Forgot To Come Into Your Heart.
After the Stax project fell apart, United Image hooked up with local producer Jesse James on Branding Iron Records. They released a dance tune The African Bump backed with Hit Man.
United Image had numerous disappointments but they persevered. One day, Joe while shopping in down town Philadelphia, heard his name called aloud. He turned around to see Norman Harris, an old friend and guitar player who along with Ronnie Baker, bass player and Earl Young, drummer had become known as the rhythm section of the Philly Sound.
Norman said to Joe, I’ve been trying to find you guys. I’ve got a deal for you. That record company turned out to be Salsoul Records represented by vice president Ken Cayre. At the audition were many of the staff writers and producers working with Norman, such as Allan Felder and T.G.Conway, Bunny Sigler, Bobby Eli, Bruce Hawes, Ron “Have Mercy” Kersey, Vince Montana and Bruce Gray. Needless to say the audition went well. It had been previously suggested that the group change their name to something more modern. Some band members had joked about pictures taken saying it looked like aDouble Exposure. Well, the name stuck.
Double Exposure was signed to Salsoul and began rehearsing new songs for their upcoming album.
This album gave Double Exposure world wide exposure and plenty of appeal. They were a hit not only in the United States but also Canada, South America, England, South Africa, and Kenya.
By the end of 1977, Double Exposure was on top of the world benefiting from two smash singles off of a very strong album. They also gained a reputation of having a strong, polished and energetic stage show which was backed by excellent musicians.
Changes with the producers and writing teams left the group feeling less excited. The group wasdisappointed seeing how these changes affected their career and there wasn’t a thing they could do about it. Salsoul would not intervene.
New life came again in October 1978. Their single, My Love Is Free and their album Ten Percent both went Gold in South Africa and that international promoters wanted to book the group for tour dates. October 5th, 1978, Double Exposure landed at Johannesburg International Airport.The rest is history!
It’s been over twenty years since Double Exposure last recorded together although you can still hear Ten Percent and My Love Is Free on radio in the states. These guys are a family having been personal friends for over forty years. Their star has not fizzled it still shines bright. Look for more music from Double Exposure.
SPECIAL THANK TO MICHAEL BULLOCK – MANAGER!
Air Date: Saturday 2/2/13 on KLED Live FM (91.1FM) www.KLEDLive.com @ 9AM & 9PM (PST)
Broadcast # 158
Direct Links also on website: www.UltimateUnderground.com
Podcast will be available on iTunes. Podomatic and Website!